This blog is dedicated to discussion of a very emotional, controversial, and hateful subject – people who have been convicted of sex crimes (especially child molesters), and who end up being included in official sex offender registries. What's more, the point of view of this site is drastically opposed to the vast majority of sites out there that deal with sex offenders: the Sex Offender Issues blog actually dares to treat these people as human beings. Now, it's certainly true that child molesters are among the lowest scum of the earth, and quite a few of them deserve the worst punishment that could possibly be conceived for them. However, not all convicted sex offenders are inhuman, heartless monsters. And that's where the witch-hunt hysteria is taking hold in our society.
Suppose you get convicted of a sex crime, and you end up on the official sex offender registry. It could be something heinous and heart-breaking (raping and murdering a kid, for instance)…or, it could be something that might even be forgivable (you're 20 years old, and you've been convicted of statutory rape for sleeping with your 17-year-old girlfriend). The problem here is that the current outlook of society is allowing no difference between these two extremes. These days, if you're unlucky enough to end up on the official sex offender registry, your life is effectively over. Even after you serve your prison sentence, you are still branded with a scarlet letter that effectively prevents you from doing anything at all, anywhere, for the rest of your life.
Want to find a place to live? Better hope your town doesn't have a law preventing sex offenders from living anywhere within 1,000, 2,500, or even 5,000 feet (i.e. a full mile) from schools, playgrounds, day care centers, and so on. Even if you do find a place, there's still the chance that some do-gooder will start plastering the neighborhood with posters warning that you – a convicted sex offender – live there.
Want to cast a vote, as is your right in the United States? Hopefully the polling station isn't in a local school, or you could be banned from entering. What's more, you may have to wear a GPS locator device for five, ten, even twenty years after your release from prison. Your name, address, and even your employer and your job listing can be placed in the sex offender registry. And this is all open for the public view, so even if you were released from prison fifteen or twenty-five years ago, a vigilante in an anti-pedophile group like Perverted Justice could stumble across your name and address, and start warning your neighborhood that you are there, and that all the children within your neighborhood are not safe because you exist.
Is it any wonder that more and more of these people are choosing to be homeless, or simply disappearing and becoming fugitives? How can the authorities keep track of them if they've been hounded to the point where it is simply better to be a fugitive than to comply with all of this?
All this has happened to registered sex offenders, and it's barely the tip of the iceberg. Our society is moving down a path that eventually will end up dictating the following: Commit a sex crime and we'll kill you – no matter what. End of story.
And yet, for some reason this hysteria only seems to apply to child molesters. Why don't we see this treatment being applied to drug dealers who sell heroin to school children? What about white supremacists who feel it's perfectly justifiable to ruin the lives of, or even murder, immigrants and minorities simply because they're not white? But of these different classes of criminals, sex offenders are facing the worst punishment (and persecution after punishment) of all.
However, the number of sites out there that look at the issue of sex offenders is frighteningly small. That's why a blog like the Sex Offender Issues blog is a surprising alternative to those other sites that see no difference between a monster who does things to children that I don't even want to think about…and someone who has genuinely been punished and is trying to remake his life in an honest way.
Of all the subjects covered here at the High Weirdness Project, the one I've been criticized and called on the most has been this issue. The links to this subject on the Bulldada Newsblog have been called into question, and I've been accused of "defending pedophiles" because of my stance on this subject. To address this charge, I will gladly ask anyone at all to point out a link, newsgroup posting, blog posting, entry on this Web site, or anywhere in which I actually defend the actions of a convicted child molester. My concern over this issue is the way this subject is treated with the hysteria of a witch hunt: people assume that everyone dealt with here is equally guilty, and that everyone convicted of a sex crime is a heartless, unfeeling monster. I have no problem with dealing harsh justice to people like that. But to paint everyone with the same brush is unreal and unfair…even though that's what we're doing, all too often.
See also: International Child Porn Hysteria Law